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A-Rod during testy exchange with reporter: ‘It’s been one long boo for 15 years’

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Alex Rodriguez had a somewhat terse back-and-forth with a Detroit reporter on Wednesday over the perception that he is baseball’s biggest villain.

The New York Yankees slugger mostly blew off the assertion that he is the resident player pariah in Major League Baseball, especially in the wake of his season-long exile last year. Rodriguez instead insisted that when it comes to being such a disliked figure and how it could be even worse this season, the DH said it’s simply business as usual and that fans have been “really generous.”

The testy exchange, which occurred before New York’s tilt with the Tigers, went in part as follows, as transcribed by ESPN New York’s Andrew Marchand.

Reporter: Coming back this season, a lot of fans, see you as the so-called “villain,” you get booed a lot everywhere …

A-Rod: The, what?

Reporter: The so-called “villain” …

A-Rod: Who said that?

Reporter: It seems like fans see you as that …

A-Rod: Which fans?

Reporter: Most fans, in baseball …

A-Rod: Did you talk to them?

Reporter: It seems like a lot of fans, you disagree?

A-Rod: Everywhere I go, they have been really generous. I’ve been humbled by the reception I’ve received everywhere.

Reporter: Does it seem like you have been booed more on the road?

A-Rod: I’ve been booed for 15 years, buddy. I don’t know if you haven’t been around. It’s been one long boo for 15 years.

Yankees skipper Joe Girardi, who called Rodriguez the biggest surprise of spring training, came the defense of his player, pointing out that A-Rod is being tested for performance enhancing drugs often yet still is putting up big numbers, batting .265 with four home runs in 11 RBI on the season, a surprising development given his long layoff.

Regarding A-Rod’s tainted history, Girardi simply stated that “[s]ometimes people make bad choices” but A-Rod has “paid the consequences” for his actions.

Rodriguez’s relatively seamless return to baseball has been a revelation of sorts, and even if he feels people have been kind to him, there still are plenty of people whose unfavorable opinion of him will never change, no matter what.

(image credit: NJ.com)